Author Topic: Kate and Shelly Stick Together  (Read 15354 times)  Share 

Gurok

  • Rottwheelers
  • When life hands you lemons, combine them with the mop
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    •  
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2016, for improving and extending the AGS scripting language
    •  
    • I can help with proof reading
    •  
    • I can help with scripting
    •  
  • Gurok worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!Gurok worked on a game that won an AGS Award!
Re: Kate and Shelly Stick Together
« Reply #80 on: 12 Oct 2017, 04:15 »
Thanks for all of the comments, guys. It's so nice to hear words of encouragement from other game creators I admire. I'm trying to keep the updates coming!

Thanks Creamy, a lot of the backgrounds are almost isometric, but the ones with different perspectives are really interesting for me too. In particular, I love the gate piece.

Thanks Cassie. Yes, I got your other comment.

Riaise and Hoob, I figure I might as well share everything with you guys. Almost all of us here are developers. More to the point, I think that not talking about what I'm doing for fear of spoilers is perhaps the silliest thing a developer can do. I might write a mini-update about it sometime.

One Room Two Weeks

I don't know if any of you have experienced this, but I got bogged down on one room. Specifically, I got bogged down on a single puzzle. To my credit though, there were other rooms involved.

The puzzle occurs about a third of the way through the game. Girl A spent the prior day with the handsome (secret vampire) antagonist. In the morning, she wakes Girl B and informs her that she's going out on another date, lumping Girl B with a bunch of errands to do. One of those errands is to pick up a book from the excessively quaint bookshop cum coffee shop on campus. For testing, I'm using Kate, but it could be either girl in either role.



The book shop is run by Yuri (behind the counter):


And additionally staffed by Fernando:


In addition, there are three background characters. I like this style for representing them. They're people you don't care about or interact with and I wanted something that would indicate this clearly while remaining fairly dull.

I'm going with what I think is an adventure game classic, an out-of-order coffee machine. In this case, it's a bit contrived. Yuri insists on giving you a free coffee with the textbook, and while it's out of order, that's just not possible. He wants to wait for the maintenance man to come by and fix it.

Yuri's the villain of this section. He bullies Fernando and Fernando just puts up with it.

There are two ways to solve the puzzle. Method 1 involves you going outside to the maintenance man to borrow his screwdriver:



You then use the screwdriver to tighten the release valve on the coffee machine. Fernando goes to make another coffee, but the coffee machine blows up. Yuri, of course, blames this on Fernando (it was his idea), and Fernando leaves in a huff. With the coffee machine destroyed, Yuri's happy to concede that it's impossible to serve you a coffee, so you get the textbook.

Method 2 involves a trip to the library to look up academic records:



You see, Yuri explains that he and Fernando are both immigrants, and what distinguishes Yuri is his education. This is why, as Yuri reasons it, he is there to give orders and Fernando is there to take them. If you present Fernando with a true picture of Yuri's accomplishments, you can humiliate Yuri in front of Fernando, at which point, he storms out. Fernando is then free to run the shop and happy to give you the textbook.



The big question then, why did this take so long?

The time consuming part was figuring out how to structure the puzzles. In the end, it's just a couple of simple fetch quests, but it's about telling a greater story (I hope). In this case, I wanted a workplace where bullying occurred, and I wanted two distinct ways of dealing with it: the path of self-interest and the path of dealing with said bullying problem.

I had (and still have) some issues with the mechanism that holds up progress. The idea that you're required to take a coffee with your book order is a little soft a blockade for my liking. I'm planning to explain that away with Yuri's sense of order and propriety.

That's another thing, I haven't really completely fleshed out all of the dialogue and all of the interactions yet. To get to this point, I focussed on just the dialogue involved in the puzzles. Yuri and Fernando, and to some extent, the maintenance man, are a bit like character sketches right now. I have to go back and flesh them out at some point, probably later as I want to give this a rest for a while.

The second thing that made this time consuming is, as I've hopefully demonstrated, it wasn't ONE room. I had to create a little routine that the maintenance man follows, and script all of his interactions. I had to script the computer interactions too.

The third thing is that I'm still running interference with artists. I need to hold impromptu meetings with them to establish what I want. Often I get interrupted just to OK work on assets.


Anyway, I'm pretty happy with the progress that I've made. This is a big chunk of the middle part of the story. There are two other, smaller errands -- signing up at the library and signing up for tutes. These are pretty much just "find the location and talk to the person", so the major work in the university quad is done.

I think the next thing I'll tackle is the radio room. It's in the same section of the game, but it's completely optional and involves a timed puzzle, but not in the way you think. Until next time, thanks for reading my updates!

Re: Kate and Shelly Stick Together
« Reply #81 on: 12 Oct 2017, 08:49 »
Thanks for writing these updates detailing your design process. They're very interesting and inspiring.
The game looks great, I love the pastel colours of some of the backgrounds, and both the sprites and portraits have so much personality. I can't wait to play it!

Is the bookshop background you posted final? To me, the non-essential characters look a bit out of place. I don't know if it's the outline or the colours used, but they appear to stand out more than the other – more important – characters. Perhaps they would gel better with the background using a more muted colour, instead of white?

Anyway, that's just my personal opinion, feel free to ignore it! :)

Best of luck with the project!

Cassiebsg

  • Cavefish
  • Fleeing the Cylon tyrrany...
Re: Kate and Shelly Stick Together
« Reply #82 on: 12 Oct 2017, 19:35 »
Interesting, and nice read on the puzzle mechanics. (nod)
I also think the coffee excuse is a bit thin, I don't even drink coffee!? 8-0 I have an idea, but I'll PM it, so you can whatever you like with it. ;)

Keep up the good work! (nod)
There are those who believe that life here began out there...

Re: Kate and Shelly Stick Together
« Reply #83 on: 18 Oct 2017, 03:04 »
Gurok, this is a lovely writing. By being bogged down you mean all your development stalled once you got to that single room? I reach similar stalling points in my game but I have just been developing the game out of order which helps me a little.

About the thing we here are mostly developers you are right, I think. At the same time I always feel I have some big picture in the game, and sharing one stuff I feel afraid people won't like that single thing and dismiss my whole game, when that single thing is just a detail in the whole game. This is scary - at least for me.

About the Yuri and Fernando scene, I like it, this relation reminds me of Mr. Collignon and Lucien in Amélie Poulain movie. When you talk about the puzzle, you mention that there are two ways to solve the puzzle, and you can do with either of the girls. And you also tell that you think the mechanics are simple but you wanted to tell a greater story. The greater story of your game is the story of Kate and Shelly, so if you are allowing these combinations to occur, you could use they to enhance the story of the girls - maybe for Shelly the path of self-interest is clearer in the puzzle, and dealing with the bullying problem is harder (less hints on how to do this) and for Kate the reverse.

I agree with lorenzo that the non-essential characters are way too attention holding. Couldn't they be just normal and less saturated?

Also the old dude in the screenshot, his portrait photo, I think some of his facial lines could use shadow skin color instead of black.

Dude I can't wait to play your game because you have a great amount of care for it. :D

CatPunter

  • I make art for games!
    • I can help with animation
    •  
    • I can help with backgrounds
    •  
    • I can help with characters
    •  
Re: Kate and Shelly Stick Together
« Reply #84 on: 18 Oct 2017, 11:48 »
Yay, it's coming together :)

It's really strange to see all the art assets I've done (or "art directed" others to make) finally compiled together as something playable. It's been a difficult road for the art team (aka me) so thank god we finally hired another guy and are passing off the last of the work to him. It's kinda scary to think that every single art asset might be finished and ready to go by Christmas and all that's left is the programming now. Damn.

It feels like it's getting to that point where someones going to have to start thinking about marketing or something :P
Art Director and Lead Artist for "Kate and Shelly Stick Together"

Creamy

    • I can help with animation
    •  
    • I can help with characters
    •  
    • I can help with story design
    •  
    • I can help with translating
    •  
Re: Kate and Shelly Stick Together
« Reply #85 on: 18 Oct 2017, 17:53 »
Quote
it could be either girl in either role.
Quote
There are two ways to solve the puzzle.

Wow, 4 possibilities! You're going to a lot of trouble.

A loafer like me would have gone with one way per girl, hinting that one of them cares more for Fernando than the other - or maybe each girl matching a level of difficulty. As eri0o remarked, this could also help to give them personality.
« Last Edit: 18 Oct 2017, 18:44 by Creamy »
 

Re: Kate and Shelly Stick Together
« Reply #86 on: 18 Oct 2017, 23:02 »
So much awaited! The early gameplay tests on Gurok's YT already were so funny to look at.

And a two-protagonists-setup can add so much personality and wit. Like in both my favorite games, with Sophia and Indy, and Nico and George.